Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 vs. AirPods Pro: Which noise-cancelling earbuds are better?

Today’s best Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 and Apple AirPods Pro (2021) deals

Recently launched, the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 have earned critical acclaim and solidified their spot on many best noise-cancelling earbuds lists. This threequel comes with adaptive noise cancellation and legacy sound that can be customized through a variety of special features. Sennheiser also gave its newest flagship buds a fancy makeover, which were awarded a 2022 Red Dot Design Award.

Standing in their way are Apple’s top-selling wireless earbuds: the AirPods Pro. The tech giant’s biggest audio achievement to date introduced several firsts to the category (e.g., Adaptive EQ, Spatial Audio) and has won consumers over with impressive active noise cancellation (ANC) and surprisingly good sound. Remarkable call quality and a plethora of special features also speak to the AirPods Pro’s greatness.

If you’re looking to splurge on true wireless noise-cancellers, these are two of the finest models to consider. Which earbuds are the better investment? Our full breakdown of the Momentum True Wireless 3 and AirPods Pro should help you narrow down the decision.

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 vs. AirPods Pro: Specs

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 AirPods Pro Price$249 $249 Wireless chargingYesYesProcessorNot statedH1Battery life (rated)6.5 hours (ANC on); 7 hours (ANC off); 28 hours (charging case)4.5 hours (ANC on), 5 hours (ANC off), 24 hours (with charging case)IPX ratingIPX4IPX4 Size and weight (buds)Not stated, 0.2 ounces1.22 x 0.86 x 0.94 inches, 0.19 ouncesSize and weight (charging case)2.7 x 1.7 x 1.3 inches, 2.34 ounces1.8 x 0.9 x 2.4 inches, 1.6 ounces Special features: Adaptive noise cancellation, aptX Adaptive, transparency mode, customizable EQ, Sound Check, Sound Zones, Anti-Wind ModeActive noise cancellation, transparency mode, adaptive EQ, spatial audio, automatic switching, customizable fit, audio sharing, Fast Fuel charging, announced messages with Siri, “Hey Siri” voice-activated assistance, wireless charging case

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 vs. AirPods Pro: Price

Both models share the same MSRP: $249. For some perspective, the Momentum True Wireless 3 launched at $50 less than the previous entries in the series. The AirPods Pro remains the highest-priced Apple wireless earbuds model.

As far as sales, the AirPods Pro are often marked down and have gone as low as $174. The Momentum True Wireless 3 won’t see a discount anytime soon since they just hit store shelves. 

Functionality and specs justify either purchase, but the high chance of scoring Apple’s buds for less gives them an edge.  

For all of the latest headphones deals, bookmark our best headphones deals and best Apple deals pages.

Winner: AirPods Pro

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 vs. AirPods Pro: Design

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

It’s amazing what a revamped design does for a product’s appeal. The Momentum True Wireless 3 boast an all-new look highlighted by an aluminum front with matte finish, debossed brand logo, rectangular shape, and sturdy plastic construction protected with IPX4 sweat and water resistance. An ergonomic fit with multiple tips keeps the buds comfy and stable. Sennheiser also brought back its signature fabric charging case, which is one of the coolest accessories in the category, and handsomely secures the buds.

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

Aesthetically, the AirPods Pro fail to match their rival’s craftsmanship. Apple did implement a few noticeable changes like an angled sound port, IPX4 certification, and the black speaker and mic grilles. The installed tips make all the difference for comfort and fit, plus Apple developed its own Ear Tip Fit Test for users to determine the best tips for their ears. And the charging case remains one of the most compact for convenient portability. However, Sennheiser’s achievement of creating something so attractive and well-built should not be overlooked.

Winner: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 vs. AirPods Pro: Controls

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

Sennheiser developed one of the most responsive control schemes for a pair of wireless earbuds. Touch accuracy is stellar, registering single and multi-tap gestures without a hitch. Removing the buds automatically pauses any content playing in the background. Digital assistance is also fantastic, thanks to intelligible mics that demonstrate superb speech recognition.

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Nevertheless, the AirPods Pro’s force sensor system remains unbeatable. Every single and multi-press gesture executes commands quickly. Motion detection is on point for enabling auto-pause. Then comes the true star of the show, “Hey Siri” voice activation, which automatically triggers whenever speaking the wake word phrase and picks up commands instantly, returning accurate results every time.

Winner: AirPods Pro

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 vs. AirPods Pro: Active noise cancellation

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Tom’s Guide)

ANC on the AirPods Pro has aged well. Apple’s technology blocks out the majority of low- and mid-frequency sounds. The dual-mic array puts a muzzle on common distractions like electronic timers, loud TVs, and talkative co-workers. More blaring sounds like a car horn and baby cries are audible and enter the soundscape. Apple’s Transparency Mode also comes in handy for gaining greater awareness of surroundings.

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Sennheiser improved their noise-cancelling technology, stuffing three mics into each bud and updating their algorithm to automatically adjust neutralization to your environment. The results are terrific. These buds eliminate more noise than the AirPods Pro across the frequency spectrum. Even high-frequency sounds like ambulance sirens and whistles are minimized at a level that doesn’t pull the listener away from their music. Wind resistance is solid on both models, though Sennheiser has an Anti-Wind Mode to reduce the whisking effects created in gusty conditions. Furthermore, the Momentum True Wireless 3’s Transparency Mode is stronger and lets in both external sounds and voices more clearly.

Winner: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 vs. AirPods Pro: Audio

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Apple’s sound quality was mediocre before the AirPods Pro. The additions of adaptive EQ and Spatial Audio have become vital to their success. A wider soundstage means you hear instruments and vocals better, while the boosted bass levels add oomph to recordings. Enabling Spatial Audio produces multi-dimensional audio and clarity that can be enjoyed on select Apple Music tracks and Dolby-Atmos-supported videos.

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

As appreciative as we are of the AirPods Pro’s audio accomplishments, the Momentum True Wireless 3 are just too powerful to compete with on the sonic front. Underneath the hood lies 7mm drivers, intelligible sound features, multiple EQ settings, and hi-res aptX Adaptive codec support that dynamically scales the bitrate to adjust what you’re hearing. The default sound profile is marvelous on its own, pumping out clean and depth-filled sound that complements all media formats, though tools like Equalizer and Sound Check make personalizing the soundstage a breeze.

Winner: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 vs. AirPods Pro: App and special features

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Tom’s Guide)

Features are in abundance no matter which pair of buds you choose, but the difference maker is Apple’s ecosystem, which is perfect as long as you are all-in on Apple. The H1 chip allows for instantaneous pairing to iOS/macOS devices and supports advanced functions like Find My to track lost AirPods via the companion app.

New updates are being released quarterly for the AirPods Pro, adding to a limitless feature set that includes favorites like automatic switching, Siri Announce Notifications, and Conversation Boost to hear voices clearer during chats. We can’t forget the aforementioned audio features and “Hey Siri” integration. There are numerous other AirPods Pro tricks you can explore that enhance usability.

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

We’ve already discussed the Momentum True Wireless 3’s biggest features such as adaptive noise cancellation, Equalizer, Sound Check, Transparency Mode, and Anti-Wind Mode. Most of these are new to the series. Sennheiser programmed these buds with Bluetooth 5.2 to produce fast and stable connectivity with devices across all platforms. Unfortunately, the Momentum True Wireless 3 doesn’t have the same number of features as the AirPods Pro, nor does it come with a Find My Buds function.

Google Fast Pair and multipoint technology (pair to two devices simultaneously) are not available on either model.

Winner: AirPods Pro

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 vs. AirPods Pro: Battery Life

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

As anticipated, the Momentum True Wireless 3 comes with more portable power than its competitor. A full charge generates 6.5 hours of ANC playtime, which can be extended to 7 hours when disabling the feature. That’s good enough for 3 days of use before recharging. Speaking of which, the wireless charging case holds up to 28 hours, and a 10-minute quick charge equals 1 hour of listening time.

(Image credit: Laptop Mag)

The AirPods set the industry standard for battery life on wireless earbuds when they first launched, but it doesn’t make what they offer serviceable by modern standards. A measly 4.5 hours of ANC playtime (5 hours with ANC off) is barely enough for two days of moderate use. The 24-hour charging case will practically live in your pockets. At least Apple’s quick-charging technology is fast, generating 1 hour of playtime in just 5 minutes. The newer version of the AirPods Pro comes with a MagSafe wireless charging case, but it doesn’t support reverse MagSafe charging for the iPhone.

Winner: Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 vs. AirPods Pro: Call Quality

(Image credit: Regan Coule/Future)

Two years in and only one model has produced better call quality than the AirPods Pro: the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds. Nothing has changed. Apple’s beamforming mics are exceptional at capturing and producing loud, clear-sounding vocals, while reducing external sounds. Having the H1 chip also gives you 50 percent more talk time than the original AirPods.

(Image credit: Alex Bracetti/Future)

It’s shocking to hear the Momentum True Wireless 3 underwhelm as a calling headset when factoring in the larger mic count and more robust noise-cancelling technology. Only in quiet settings will you get crisp and interference-free call quality. There is some occasional muffle and Sennheiser’s mics pick up lots of background noise.

Winner: AirPods Pro

Overall winner: Tie

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a draw. These are two high-end models that offer their own unique listening experiences. The Momentum True Wireless 3 gets you premium sound and noise cancellation in a luxury design, whereas the AirPods Pro is all about interconnectivity with iOS/macOS devices and delivers immersive sound and satisfactory ANC in a familiar package.

Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 AirPods Pro Value (5) 45Design (15)1411Controls (10)910Active noise cancellation (20)1917Audio (15)1412 App and special features (15) 1012Battery life (10) 87Call quality (10)610Total score (100)8484

The five-star Sony WF-1000XM4 still remains our current favorite for best wireless earbuds overall, but the Momentum True Wireless 3 and AirPods Pro aren’t too far behind. Either way, expect your money’s worth from both models.

Today’s best Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3 and Apple AirPods Pro (2021) deals



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